Tuesday, May 13, 2014
© Copyright 2014
Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla reacts after striking out against the Miami Marlins earlier this season. Uggla has been out of the Braves’ lineup for the past five games. (Reuters)
SAN FRANCISCO — Second baseman Dan Uggla was out of the Braves lineup for the fifth consecutive game Monday night, and manager Fredi Gonzalez didn’t make it sound like the long-slumping veteran would be playing again on a regular basis for the forseeable future.
Gonzalez has said Uggla “isn’t benched” but otherwise hasn’t addressed the situation publicly. He has, however, started Ramiro Pena or Tyler Pastornicky in the past five games and hasn’t started Uggla since the last time the Braves faced a left-hander, the Cubs’ Tyler Lyons on May 6. His only plate appearance since then was as a pinch-hitter Sunday.
The Braves played the second game of the series at San Francisco Tuesday night. The game was not complete at press time.
Pena started consecutive games at second base, then Pastornicky started consecutive games Saturday and Sunday at the position against the Cubs. He had a crucial squeeze bunt in Saturday’s win.
Pena was back at second base Monday for the series opener against the Giants.
“Pastornicky probably hit the ball harder than anybody on the team (Sunday) twice,” Gonzalez said. “The (Cubs) second baseman, I don’t even know how he could make that play, the one that short-hopped him, and then the line drive to the first baseman — and he didn’t get anything out of it. But he comes up in a situation the night before and you can squeeze with him, that kind of stuff. Run Pena in there every once in a while and he gives you good at-bats, gives you a little different option.”
As for Uggla, he was 5-for-44 (.114) with no extra-base hits or RBIs and a .204 OBP in his past 13 games. He was hitting .184 overall including .172 (15-for-87) against right-handers and .250 (4-for-16) against lefties.
Gonzalez has been mum on when Uggla will return to the lineup.
The Braves faced a sixth consecutive right-handed starter in Tuesday night’s late game (Ryan Vogelson). Atlanta will finally see a left-handed starter (Madison Bumgarner) in the series finale today.